The mass shooting at the Aurora, Colorado, Cinemark Theatre on July 20, 2012 is a tragedy. There is no doubt about that.
It was, however, a preventable tragedy (at least as far as the high body count goes) except for one thing: all of those fine Colorado folks did what law-abiding people always do… they obeyed the rules.
The rule issued by Cinemark that said nobody was allowed to carry a firearm on their premises, not even if they were a lawful concealed carry license holder. Their movie theatre is precisely the kind of “target-rich environment” that spree killers like James Holmes pine for: a gun-free zone.
Colorado is what we in the concealed carry movement call a “Shall Issue” state. If a citizen applies for a concealed firearms permit and has no criminal record then the state MUST issue that citizen his or her concealed carry permit. This is a good thing.
The problems we have when faced with spree killers such as this Denver moron are two-fold.
First, no matter how fast the police response is to the shooting (and in this case the police response time was truly remarkable) they cannot get there until bodies are already on the ground. They are not on the scene at the time all Hell breaks loose.
Second, rules based on a political agenda instead of the safety of human beings ultimately cost lives, as this case proves so terribly.
The anti-gun (and anti-human life) policy of the Cinemark theatre chain only prevents rule-following citizens from carrying firearms.
Their politically based ideological rule that prevents law-abiding citizens from carrying legally-owned firearms inside their premises is, of course, their right. It is their business and they can make any rule inside that place of business they deem reasonable, even if that rule just cost dozens of people their lives and health.
This “gun-free zone” rule had no effect whatsoever on the murderer willing to kill dozens of people. These rules never do. The only thing they do is guarantee a tragically high body count.
You would think that even the most anti-gun fanatic would be able to comprehend this simple truth! Sadly, they never do and more people will die because of that.
Criminals do not obey laws. Criminals do not obey rules. I will never comprehend why seemingly intelligent people cannot comprehend this simple fact.
The Cinemark movie chain is every bit as responsible for the dead and wounded people as the deranged idiot who shot them.
Because it was their anti-gun decree that put their political agenda ahead of the lives of their patrons.
Timothy Warner, the CEO of Cinemark, whined to the press that this tragedy was “totally shocking” as though he had nothing to do with it.
“This is just an isolated.. deranged gunman that… had access to really high-power weapons,” he told reporters.
That is only partly true.
The other half of the equation is that Timothy Warner’s company chose to ensure the “deranged gunman” would be completely unopposed as he emptied magazine after magazine into the crowded theatre.
Concealed Carry legislation saves lives. What costs lives is stupid policies that take away a person’s ability to defend themselves when they need that ability most: when their lives are threatened by a lunatic with a gun.
It’s a simple statement, but it’s true nonetheless. Armed citizens save lives.
Don’t believe me? Fine. Just answer me this question.
Who do we call when some lunatic with a gun goes on a rampage like this?
Armed citizens. We call them police officers. The only difference between a police officer and a lawful concealed carry firearm owner is the police officer has a badge to go with his gun. Due to the legal issues surrounding concealed carry, the vast majority of concealed carry holders have far more training with their firearms than cops do.
Again, this is as it should be. If you’re going to carry a firearm for self-defense, then you ought to be proficient with it. That’s a no-brainer.
The second problem is much more difficult and there is nothing we can really do about it. That’s the idiot that grabs a gun and goes around shooting people. As early reports show so far in the Denver case, there is nothing to show this idiot was about to do what he did. There usually isn’t.
No law created by man will ever prevent a lunatic from doing the evil that is in his or her heart. Laws don’t do anything to prevent people like this.
The reality that politicians and anti-gun fanatics never want to face is that laws only affect those who are willing to abide by them. Period.
Had there been a single armed person inside the theatre when this bloody lunatic opened fire they could have drastically reduced the body count of both dead and injured. It’s not that there wasn’t a safe time to come out of a hiding spot and shoot the deranged killer. There was. When people realized the killer was reloading, they ran for the exits. They ran for their lives. Not a single person attempted to take down the killer when he was at his most vulnerable point: reloading before killing some more.
I’m reminded of 7 brave young Boy Scouts led by Jacob Ryker at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, who were faced with a similar situation in 1998. They were faced with a nutbar with a gun who was killing them inside their classroom.
Instead of running like cowards when that deranged killer stopped to reload, Ryker led the charge against their attacker, overpowered him and took away his ability to kill anyone else.
Jacob Ryker had already been shot once in the lung. That didn’t stop him from doing what needed to be done. He and his fellow Boy Scouts were successful in disarming the lunatic with the gun. They prevented anyone else from getting shot or killed that fateful day.
For his heroic part Jacob Ryker was awarded the highest honour a Boy Scout can receive for bravery and leadership.
Sadly, there were no Boy Scouts in the Cinemark theatre on July 20th, 2012. There were no brave men or women willing to do whatever it takes to stop the madman in his tracks.
That is, to say the least, unfortunate.
I fully understand why people would run away from the madman. It is a terrifying thing to have someone shooting at you with the intent to end your life. It’s all the more terrifying when there is absolutely no reason for it as in the case of this lunatic in Aurora, Colorado.
That being said, I’m saddened that there wasn’t a single person willing to try to stop this jerk in his tracks before he killed anyone else.
Jacob Ryker did that when he was just 17 years old, and he’d already been shot once in the lung.
Jacob Ryker could have hidden. He could have run away.
He did neither.
He stood up like a man and did what needed to be done, the cost to himself be damned.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family members of those killed in this tragedy. They face insurmountable grief in the coming days, weeks and months ahead.
My thoughts and prayers are also with those injured in this shooting spree and I pray they all recover fully from their wounds, both physical and psychological.
Since I cannot say it better than my friends at JPFO.org, I’ll end with a quote from their message:
Unfortunately, the opponents and liberty will not hesitate to dance on the victims’ graves while singing their tired songs of firearm bans and confiscations. Already, the Brady Bunch has called this “yet another horrific reminder that guns enable mass killings.”
At JPFO, we take a more commonsensical, measured approach. Lunatic mass murderers will not be stopped by gun bans or confiscations; those with criminal intent will always find a way to access firearms.
If we revoke freedoms and liberties in reaction to every tragedy, we will soon not only outlaw all guns, but also knives, screwdrivers, hammers, pipes, and eventually pens.
But blaming the tools is just a small step better than blaming the victims. Instead, let’s put the blame where it belongs: on the murderer. At best, he should be given a life sentence with no chance of parole.
But feel-good sophists — the same feel-good sophists who would confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens who want no more than to have a tool to defend their families — want us to ignore the criminal and blame the tool.
great article, except that i want to make a point about concealed carry in private businesses.
i have given this much thought as a liberty-minded person and have come to the only rational conclusion that i think that an honest person can come to in regard to it once all the facts have been considered; and that is, if your business is open to the general public, then you cannot bar them from their constitutional rights while they are present.
just as you cannot strip someone of their constitutional right to their choice of mates and then rape them simply because they walked into your business, you cannot strip them of their constitutional right to bear arms.
a persons home or a business not open to the general public might be different, but certainly corporations whose intent is to serve the mass public should not be allowed to limit peoples constitutional rights on their premises, otherwise international corporations could, by policy, write the laws over the constitutions of sovereign nations(which they already do by proxy).
in other words, if walmart, mcdonalds, malls, mobil oil, etc all ban possession of weapons on their property, they would in effect nullify that constitutional right.
so could they also ban clothes and wedding rings and also force gang rape etc. ??
the bounds of private property rights have to give way somewhat to the general principles of liberty of the common man when that property is controlled by corporations for the supposed public benefit of commerce.
Until after I read Christopher’s column, I had yet to confirm that the Century 16 Movie Theater in Aurora, Colorado was indeed a gun-free zone.
If concealed carry is taboo, I wondered if the parent company, Cinemark Century Theaters of Texas, enforced the policy with security guards at the doors, wanding and patting down patrons or walking them through scanners or metal detectors before they could enter the premise?
Or is the policy carried out on the honour system?
Well, as a sidebar, we all remember Luby’s as the scene of a bloody massacre on October 16, 1991, don’t we?
Gunman George Hennard eventually committed suicide, but not before he drove his pickup truck into the Killeen, Texas, cafeteria and went on a deadly shooting spree that wounded 20 customers and killed 23 others–including the parents of later politician, author, gun lobbyist Suzanna Gratia Hupp.
Suzanna Hupp, who was licensed to conceal carry, had dug into her handbag for the trusty revolver which she needed most at this very moment, only to discover she–the honourable, law-abiding citizen–had left the gun inside her vehicle to comply with some “do-good” Texas law–not Luby’s policy–that forbade guns from being taken into any eating establishments.
To make a difference, Dr. Hupp entered politics and was successful in her fierce lobbying campaign to change the ridiculous law. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzanna_Hupp
In this age of lunacy, fantasy, mind-control and advanced technology, any gun-free zone is a breeding ground for disaster which is helpful to gun-control Marxists for moving society one step closer to abolishing constitutional rights to peaceful assemble as well as the government outlawing individual gun ownership in favour of a police state where only the military and law enforcers fraught with criminals and crooks will have guns.
I kept wondered “what if” just one person in the Batman movie audience had been carrying a concealed firearm. Could it possibly have made a difference? I guess at this juncture we can only speculate.
Gunman James Holmes bought a ticket, then is alleged to have slipped out a side emergency exit door to don exotic paramilitary garb.
When regaining entrance to the auditorium, he was outfitted with smoke canisters which I’m interpreting to be pyrotechnics. Among their useful purposes other than igniting flammable ceiling tiles and providing him with a smoke screen, exploding bombs would serve to confuse an audience caught off guard by its sizzling sounds and smell while initially believing this was a publicity stunt in conjunction with the highly-anticipated movie.
At this point, movie-goers would not know they are in peril and would not be pulling out sidearms.
According to reports coming in over the Internet, Holmes was clad in full, sophisticated riot gear: a ballistics helmet, bulletproof vest, bulletproof leggings, groin and throat protectors, gas mask and gloves. http://www.naturalnews.com/036536_James_Holmes_shooting_false_flag.html
It would not be until after he had detonated multiple smoke bombs then started moving along aisles shooting movie-goers randomly that the slow-to-react audience would become alarmed.
But how could anybody armed with less than probably a machine gun penetrate that garb Holmes was alleged to be wearing? Even if his arms were exposed, he probably was so heavily drugged that he was anesthetized beyond pain from the prick of a handgun bullet.
In other mass shootings, I can only recall gunmen wearing street clothes instead of full riot gear, which, however, does not render them any less formidable when they are in control of several guns and thousands of rounds of large-calibre ammo.
An example is offered in Christopher’s column of the seven brave young Scouts heroically rushing and apprehending a gunman in their Oregon school. Bravery is what it takes, which reminds me of another heroic deed that occurred in Tucson, Arizona.
Remember another nutbar named Jared Loughner who killed six, including a nine-year-old girl, and injured 14 people, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords who was holding a constituents’ meeting called “Congress on Your Corner” outside a mall Safeway store on January 8, 2011?
Some 20 to 30 people were gathered around waiting their turn to talk with her when Loughner whipped out a pistol and shot Giffords in the head without apparent motivation.
Then he carried on with his rampage.
Nobody nearby had a gun. Somewhere in the blood and mayhem people started to gather their wits and instinctively began to work in unison.
The brave 61-year-old Patricia Maisch helped curtail Loughner’s actions when she wrestled away a fresh magazine of bullets as he tried to reload. Someone bashed him over the head with a chair that momentarily stunned him and another man grabbed the gun.
Disarming Loughner afforded fellow heroes–a wounded Bill Badger, Roger Sulzgeber and Joseph Zamudio–the chance to pounce on and knock Loughner to the ground. While the men struggled to hold him to the ground, Maisch grabbed Loughner’s ankles with all her might to make sure he wasn’t going to run. He didn’t.
Finally, the police came and relieved the brave Arizona citizens of their unofficial civic duties that were foisted upon them. And what happens to these gunmen who don’t do us the favour of committing suicide? Well, the justice system put Loughner “on ice”, drugged to the gills so he can’t talk coherently about the meaning of his actions and who was behind it.
I am personally convinced that these lone-man lunacies are purposefully staged by political operatives and paid for by government agencies. To find the roots of evil, you don’t have to look further than that useless, corrupt international organization called the United Nations and its despicable Charter.
As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said “… in politics nothing is accidental. If something happens, be assured it was planned this way.”
Norm Sharp says
Well….Jeff & Jane hit the nail on the head….First thing I thought of was…”From Luby’s to the Legislature” and the “Fast & Furious” scandal that’s still on-going.
I’m guessing that Canada, as well as a few States will continue to keep their Heads in the Sand…(For lack of a better location).
Norm….(PS…I went through Lytton acouple of days ago….no wonder you get hot under the collar…you can get hot under anything there…man was it hot.)
Christopher di Armani says